Under Scrutiny

J’ai retrouvé cet interview vieille de deux ans, mais toujours d’actualité, sur les PNR (Passenger Names Records) : au nom de la lutte contre le terrorisme, les compagnies aériennes doivent communiquer ces fichiers sur leurs passagers aux autorités américaines, qui peuvent également s’en servir à des fins d’espionnage économique !

« Tous fiches : l’incroyable projet américain pour déjouer les attentats terroristes » can be translated by « Files on all of us: the amazing US project to deter terrorism ».
This survey -written by Jacques Henno, a French freelance journalist- describes a US Intelligence program aimed at discovering terrorist plots: the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program. In 2003, US Congress banned use of TIA against US citizens but allowed it against aliens/foreigners outside US.

TIA is designed as an early-warning system that mine intelligence databases, but also airline databases (the data of all passengers arriving to USA or flying over USA are screened), private databases of credit card records and other transactions, for telltale signals of terrorist plots.

In this book, Jacques Henno also describes how Acxiom, a US marketing databases company, is a US Pentagon contractor ; and how all marketing information gathered by Acxiom outside the US can be used by the US Intelligence Community (many countries are targeted as Acxiom has subsidiaries in UK, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Australia and New Zealand).

This is NOT science-fiction: the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping, authorized by George W Bush proves that this agency is collecting and data-mining information intercepted from thousands of people. US newspapers are now writing articles about TIA and related research programs (Novell Intelligence from Massive Data, Advanced Capabilities for Intelligence Analysis program…). For example, see:http://govexec.com/dailyfed/0106/0120…

On Saturday November 3rd, 2007, Jacques Henno had been interviewed on France24 about the use of data collected by US agencies: « Under scrutiny. Since 9/11, European airlines and banks share information on their customers with US. Some say that the US is using this data in an economic war against Europe. »

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